NASA scientist wins Nobel prize for physics

NASA scientist wins Nobel prize for physics

Summary: Goddard director: 'Government scientists can do world-class science.'

TOPICS: Government US

It was all champagne and toasts yesterday at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, as employees celebrated one of their own winning the Nobel Prize for Physics, The Washington Post reports.

Dozens of co-workers signed a banner inscribed with "Congratulations, John Mather" and many others stood in long lines to offer back slaps, handshakes and hugs. A young colleague slipped him a note that said simply: "I am very inspired by your work."

"This is us," said Mather, 60, looking out over the more than 400 NASA Goddard co-workers who had gathered to wish him well. "This is my family here. These are the people I love."

Mather and George F. Smoot, an experimental astrophysicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, used data from a NASA satellite, the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), they helped create to provide tangible evidence of the Big Bang Theory.

NASA officials had another reason to smile, the Post notes.

But the acclaim he's receiving also redounds to Goddard. "This just proves that government scientists can do world-class science," Goddard director Edward J. Weiler said. "This means a lot, not only to Goddard but to all NASA scientists."

Goddard scientist Blake Lorenz, said the prize will probably loosen purse strings in Washington and lead to better funding for research projects. The Goddard center also is responsible for the Hubbard telescope. "We are part of a successful team and Goddard is famous for getting a lot of bang for the buck."

Topic: Government US

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  • cudos for NASA

    Congratulations to NASA and Mr. Mather on this great feather in NASA and Goddard's cap. If people only knew all the things NASA research has given us they would have a whole different attitude.
  • HUBBARD telescope????

    Uh... so someone's writing this article that doesn't know what the HUBBLE telescope is??? God help us and our media...